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Advertisers Drop Support for KFI's 'John & Ken Show' After Campaign By Latino Groups

John and Ken (KFI)
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Four advertisers have said they will no longer support KFI radio's "John & Ken Show" following an awareness campaign mounted by several Latino and immigrants' rights groups. Verizon and AT&T Wireless are yanking their ads, reports the Burbank Leader, and grocers Vons and Ralphs, who have run ads on the show in the past, say they will not do so again.The announcement came Thursday as demonstrators gathered out front of KFI's Burbank offices.

"John & Ken" are John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, controversial conservative talking heads who read the phone number of local advocate Jorge-Mario Cabrera of the Coalition of Humane Immigration Rights of L.A. (CHIRLA) on the air as part of their campaign to drum up public dissent for the passage and signing into law of the California DREAM Act.

Cabrera reported receiving multiple harassing calls. As part of the harassment, CHIRLA says the callers took part in "terrorizing [and] threatening [the staffer] and crashing the organization’s phone system," according to the organization, all at the goading of Kobylt and Chiampou.

About three dozen protesters were gathered outside KFI yesterday when news of the dropped advertising was announced by The National Hispanic Media Coalition.

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KFI has stood behind their show hosts, citing their 1st Amendment rights to say as they wish on the show.

However, not everyone sees it that way, reports the Leader:

And when Kobylt and Chiampou stand behind the 1st Amendment to incite hate against Latinos, they are abusing those rights, said David Rodriguez, spokesman for the League of United Latin American Citizens. “It’s one thing to run out and express your free speech, but it’s quite another to turn around and demonize a community and victimize a community of hard-working immigrant folks, who all they want to do is make a living and be part of this society,” he said.

Groups backing Cabrera, CHIRLA, and the interest of the immigrant community have called for John & Ken's termination, however they are pleased with the news the advertisers are backing out. They anticipate more advertisers will bow out in the coming weeks.
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